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Pakistan crush Bangladesh by 55 runs ;Eden showers love on Afridi and his men(scoreboard) 

Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) A superb all-round display by skipper Shahid Afridi saw Pakistan register an emphatic 55 run victory against Bangladesh who finished 146/6 chasing an imposing target of 202 in their World Twenty20 group encounter at the Eden Gardens here on Wednesday.

Pacer Mohammad Amir and Afridi who had earlier sizzled with the bat scoring 49 picked up two scalps each. For Bangladesh Shakib Al Hasan top scored with an unbeaten 50.

Chasing Pakistan’s total of 201/5, Bangladesh got off to a rocky start as Mohammad Amir jolted Bangladesh by bowling Soumya Sarkar (0) in the very first over. Sabbir Rahman and Tamim Iqbal then got together to build a brief partnership.

Rahman played the role of the aggressor hitting five fours en route to his brisk 25. Shahid Afridi then crashed his stumps as he played down the wrong line.

Afridi then picked up the dangerous Tamim (24) and left arm spinner Iman Wasim followed it up with the wicket of Mahmudullah (4) which left Bangladesh struggling at 71/4 in the 11th over.

Things got worse as the Bangladesh batsmen failed to even rotate the strike. In the last six overs they still needed 109 to win.

It did not get easy for them thereafter as Pakistan speedsters Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan kept on bowling in very good areas. Shakib tried hard but by then the game had slipped away from their grasp.

Pakistan pegged back the rivals further by picking up Mushfiqur Rahim (18) and Mohammad Mithun (2) and then quite easily sealed the deal.

Earlier in the day, a brilliant 42-ball 64 by Mohammad Hafeez and a blistering Shahid Afridi (49 from 19 balls) ensured Pakistan posted an imposing total.

Ahmed Shehzad was the other major contributor (52) as Afridi rolled back the years at the Eden Gardens. Taskin Ahmed returned figures of 32/2 for Bangladesh.

After electing to bat, Pakistan got off to a strong start as openers Sharjeel Khan and Shehzad took the attack to the opposition.

Sharjeel in the second over clubbed pacer Al Amin Hossain for two massive sixes. The first one was clipped off his hips and the next was a straight blow. He then finished the over with a smack to the ropes, gathering 18 runs off it.

However, Arafat Sunny struck back in the next by cleaning up Sharjeel.

Hafeez (52) who joined Shehzad in the middle was quick to get into his groove too. He started off by hitting a six and then pushed hard between the wickets for quick singles.

Both batsmen looked at ease on the batting-friendly wicket at the Eden and latched onto anything short or full, smashing them to the fence.

At the end of the 10th over Pakistan were coasting with a run rate of 9 runs per over. Four overs later Bangladesh struck back by breaking the Shehzad-Hafeez partnership of 95 runs.

But then Afridi walked in the middle much to the delight of the spectators. And he did not disappoint as he clobbered his opposite number Mashrafe Mortaza for 18 runs in an over.

Hafeez was soon dismissed, brilliantly caught in the deep by Soumya Sarkar, who showed presence of mind and balance to catch the ball inside the boundary then tipped over but quickly re-entered the field to complete the catch.

In the last two overs Bangladesh gave away 25 runs ensuring Pakistan got a formidable total even as Umar Akmal and Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal had a verbal spat forcing the umpires to intervene

Shahid Afridi may be in trouble back home for his “getting more love in India” remark, but a half-filled but boisterous Eden Gardens on Wednesday seemed determined to prove the Pakistani skipper’s assertions were not ill-founded as they lustily cheered each and every move of the Green Brigade in their World Twenty20 Group 2 encounter against Bangladesh.

The maverick all-rounder, who was chided by his own people for his remarks, appeared to be the toast of the around 30,000 crowd right from the moment he walked out for the toss and much to their delight repaid the love with a blistering knock of 49 studded with eight hits to the boundary.

Though outnumbered, the 5,000 odd Bangladeshi supporters sporting their national team jerseys, did have their moments of joy, but the Pakistani batsmen soon took the wind out of their opponents’ sails as they walloped their way to an imposing total.

Walking in at number four, Afridi – who once held the record for the fastest century in One-day Internationals – was immediately at his destructive best.

The stadium reverberated with chants of “Boom Boom Afridi” as the 36-year-old carted the bowlers to all parts of the ground, hitting four towering sixes and an equal number of boundaries. There was a tinge of disappointment in the crowd after he missed his fifty by one run, holing out in the deep.

Buoyed by their team’s recent performances including at the Asia Cup on home soil, the Bangladeshi supporters appeared gung ho about the team, but were soon left exasperated and disappointed as Pakistan tightened their grip on the match and finally won by 55 runs.

Though disappointed at their team’s dismal performance, many of the Bangladeshi supporters however, are ecstatic at being able to witness the match at the historic stadium.

“It has been a dream for us to watch a match at the Eden and we ourselves created a sort of history with three generations witnessing the match,” said Tohifful Rehman, who watched the match along with his 65-year-old father and 15-year-old daughter.

Frustrated at the team’s performance and huge support for Pakistan, a Bangladeshi journalist couldn’t help quipping, “It seems Kolkata has become Karachi”.

A few Bangladeshi and Pakistani flags also fluttered in the crowd.

Interestingly, notices have been put up across the hallowed stadium warning spectators against wrongful display or insult to the Indian national flag.

Kolkata, March 16 (IANS) Following is the scoreboard of the Pakistan vs Bangladesh World Twenty20 match which was held at the Eden Gardens here on Wednesday.

Pakistan innings

Sharjeel Khan b Arafat Sunny 18
Ahmed Shehzad c Mahmudullah b Sabbir Rahman 52
Mohammad Hafeez c Soumya Sarkar b Arafat Sunny 64
Shahid Afridi c Mahmudullah b Taskin Ahmed 49
Umar Akmal c Shakib Al Hasan b Taskin Ahmed 0
Shoaib Malik not out 15
Imad Wasim not out 0
Extras (lb 1, w 1, nb 1) 3

Total (five wickets; 20 overs) 201

Fall of wickets 1-26 (Sharjeel Khan, 2.3 overs), 2-121 (Ahmed Shehzad, 13.5), 3-163 (Mohammad Hafeez, 16.4), 4-175, (Umar Akmal, 17.5), 5-198 (Shahid Afridi, 19.4)

Bowling:

Taskin Ahmed 4-0-32-2
Al-Amin Hossain 3-0-43-0
Arafat Sunny 4-0-34-2
Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-39-0
Mashrafe Mortaza 3-0-41-0
Sabbir Rahman 2-0-11-1

Bangladesh innings (target: 202 runs)
Tamim Iqbal c Imad Wasim b Shahid Afridi 24
Soumya Sarkar b Mohammad Amir 0
Sabbir Rahman b Shahid Afridi 25
Shakib Al Hasan not out 50
Mahmudullah c Sharjeel Khan b Imad Wasim 4
Mushfiqur Rahim c Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Amir 18
Mohammad Mithun c Mohammad Amir b Mohammad Irfan 2
Mashrafe Mortaza not out 15
Extras (lb 4, w 4) 8
Total (six wickets; 20 overs) 146

Fall of wickets 1-1 (Soumya Sarkar, 0.3 overs), 2-44 (Sabbir Rahman, 5.5), 3-58 (Tamim Iqbal, 7.6), 4-71 (Mahmudullah, 10.2), 5-110 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 16.4), 6-117 (Mohammad Mithun, 17.4)

Bowling:

Mohammad Amir 4-0-27-2
Mohammad Irfan 4-0-30-1
Wahab Riaz 4-0-31-0
Shahid Afridi 4-0-27-2
Shoaib Malik 2-0-14-0
Imad Wasim 2-0-13-1

Match Details:

Toss – Pakistan, who chose to bat
Points – Pakistan 2, Bangladesh 0
Player of the match – Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Umpires – Ian Gould (England) and Richard Kettleborough (England)
TV umpire – Joel Wilson (West Indies)
Match referee – Chris Broad (England)
Reserve umpire – Aleem Dar (Pakistan)

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